Kashmir War : 1947-48
Prime Minister Shri
Jawaharlal Nehru interviews Major Sher Khan of the
Pakistan Army in February 1948 as Lieutenant Colonel KAS Raja,
(Later Major General) CO 1 MADRAS looks on. The Major was the
first officer Prisoner of War of free India’s Army and was captured
1 MADRAS (Now 1 MECH INF)
Battalions of the Regiment
participated in the Jammu and Kashmir Operations with distinction.
Deployed in November 1947, the 1st Battalion operated initially on
the axis Kathua-Jammu. In April 1948 it was committed to the
Baramulla area, where it lost the CO, Lt Col CPA Menon, MC and Lt
Philip when a recce patrol they were leading was ambushed. It was
later deployed in the Tithwal sector in the Ring Contour area facing
determined enemy counter attacks. The 2nd Battalion joined 77 Para
Bde at Srinagar in May 1948 and after seeing action in this area
concentrated in Uri in July. It remained in observation of Pakistani
positions in the forward areas after the ceasefire, manning high
altitude picquets often under heavy snow and was commended for its
dedication to duty. The 4th MADRAS (WLI) was deployed in September
1948 and in October successfully attacked and captured feature Pir
Kalewa and then 'Camel's Hump' which turned the enemy’s defences and
opened the way to the Mendhar valley.
The Battalion won a Maha Vir
Chakra (Nk Raju), seven Vir Chakras and 16 Mentions-in-Despatches
during the J & K Ops.
The Regiment was awarded Battle
Honours 'Punch' and 'Tithwal' and the Theatre Honour 'Jammu and
General Nimmo being
in the battalion area in the Tithwal Sector
The advance over sixty miles of
hilly terrain, over snow clad ranges of more than 10,000 feet height
and notorious for their bone chilling winds, attired in scanty
winter clothing, with no greatcoats or blankets, shivering at night
with unbearable cold, capturing the highest Pass in the Srinagar
Valley - certainly all that was no mean achievement for the
Madrassis, some of whom had never set foot on such high ranges and
never seen snow or marched on it. On 17 May 1948, 1 MADRAS was
ordered to lead the Brigade as Advance Guard for capturing Tithwal.
With its morale sky-high, after capturing Nastachun Pass, battalion
geared for capture of Tithwal. With another battalion of the brigade
advancing on the left and 1 MADRAS on the right, attack commenced
and on 23 May 1948, after a fierce and bloody fight, 1 MADRAS
secured its objective south of Tithwal.
Thambis of 1
MADRAS celebrate the memorable day of 23 May 1948 as ‘Tithwal Day’.
The First Maha Vir Chakra and Two Vir Chakras were won in this
action. The Brigade Commander congratulated the Battalion in a
nutshell in the words “Bravo Madrassis”.